Malaysia Airlines: Spike in airfare due to less than 40pc load on most flights

Earlier in May, Malaysian carriers had warned that passengers will likely have to pay over 50 per cent more for airfares if social distancing is imposed in light of Covid-19. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Earlier in May, Malaysian carriers had warned that passengers will likely have to pay over 50 per cent more for airfares if social distancing is imposed in light of Covid-19. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — Malaysia Airlines Bhd today clarified that the recent air ticket price increase involving its flight destinations is due to the current average load factor which is less than 40 per cent for most flights. 

In a statement to Malay Mail, Malaysia Airlines said: “Airlines drive optimisation of fares based on available capacity and demand. 

“The current fares reflect the current average load factor which is less than 40 per cent for most flights.” 

Earlier in May, Malaysian carriers had warned that passengers will likely have to pay over 50 per cent more for airfares if social distancing is imposed in light of Covid-19.

According to news reports, Malaysia Airlines and Malindo Air had both agreed with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), that requirement to enforce social distancing among passengers would result in airfare spike by up to 54 per cent.

Malaysia Airlines added that they welcome the removal of social distancing as airlines would be able to price fares more competitively for the benefit of customers while balancing the need to cover the cost of operating a flight.

“Despite the revision to social distancing rules, the existing requirements for passengers to bring and wear their own protective masks before boarding and throughout the duration of the flight (except during meal times), temperature checks and other safety and health protocols on ground prior to departure remain unchanged,” the statement added. 

Following concerns raised by the public on air ticket high prices, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the Transport Ministry is discussing with airlines to try and resolve the issue of expensive tickets for domestic air travel, especially to Sabah and Sarawak. 

Prices of air tickets for destinations such as Miri could go up to RM2,000, Ismail Sabri added, indicating that he hopes to resolve this issue. 

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